This vegan burger recipe will convince even the most meat-lovin’ carnivore to try a little plant-based love.
Why a self-confessed carnivore tried going vegan
Inspired by my vegan client, Daniel, I spent Sunday cooking up a meat-free storm in the kitchen a couple of weeks ago. I set Daniel a pretty steep protein target when we calculated his macros, and I was unsure how he would hit it without blowing out on carbs or calories. It’s no secret I can smash over 180g of protein every day with my go-to chicken, yoghurt, WPI and eggs, but doing it plant-based? Well, I was cautious, to say the least.
So I hit up No Meat Athlete and Brendan Brazier for the best in the biz of fuelling vegan athletes. I read everything I could get my hands on and went back to my original interviews from my Strong Fitness Magazine feature article on plant-based meats.
Then, determined to find yum, unprocessed, vegan recipes that my picky, health-detective kids would eat, I whipped up these vegan burgers.
How to make a killer vegan burger
Choose a good base, to give that delish, fill-ya-mouth, chunky burger feel. Sweet potato is the bomb, and microwaving it is my turbo-charged hack.
Add fibre and protein. Kidney beans got the nod for this recipe. Purely because I already used black beans in my Beet & Black Bean vegan burger recipe. You could swap out the kidney beans for black beans, butter beans – hell, whatever takes your fancy. Just bean it up. They add texture, fibre and even more nutritious deliciousness to your burger.
Flavour-bomb the f*ck out of it. The go-to spice mix combo in our house is:
- ground cumin
- smoked paprika
- black pepper
- pink Himalayan salt
So that’s what went into the blender for these sweet potato burgers.
Prep, set and forget. These vegan burgers don’t have any of the binders that traditional burgers have. No egg, no breadcrumbs, no gluten of any kind, zip, nada, zilch. So it’s important to shape the patties then pop ’em back in the fridge to firm up before cooking.
Cook gently. I oven-baked the test batch, and I’ve since tried it in a non-stick pan too. I don’t recommend actually BBQ-ing these ones. Todd would kill me if they disintegrated all over his precious grill. (I asked him to BBQ tofu for me once. He’s never gotten over the absolute schmozzle it made of his BBQ. Our marriage has never been the same since.)
Choose your vegan burger style: naked burger, or buns out. The kids and Todd loved brioche buns (pack of four from Aldi, get on that!), and I like a naked burger bowl – salad, melted capsicum strips in coconut oil, sauerkraut, cottage cheese and sweet chilli sauce.
Freeze the leftovers till you’re ready to eat. I just laid these flat on a tray until frozen, then bagged them up in a zip-lock bag. Defrost in the fridge and cook as usual. Perfect for late nights, lazy lunches – and to be honest, with a soft fried egg on top, these sweet potato vegan burgers are brilliant for breakfast too.
Let’s veg it up!
Vegan Burger: Sweet Potato & Kidney Bean
- 600 g sweet potato raw weight, unpeeled
- 1 can kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 125 g microwave brown rice and quinoa mix Imperial Grain brand from Aldi
- 140 g brown onion
- 30 g spring onion
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- .5 tsp ground cinnamon
- .5 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- black pepper & pink Himalayan salt to season
- Prick the sweet potato all over with a fork. I mean, all over. Then place it on paper towel on a plate and microwave on high for 14 minutes or until soft. Set aside to cool.
- Blitz the onion in a blender with the brown rice/quinoa mix and kidney beans until well chopped.
- Scoop the flesh out of the sweet potato and add to the blender with all other ingredients.
- Give it a quick blitz to create a chunky consistency and ensure everything is combined.
- Shape 8 patties and place on non-stick baking paper on a tray. Refrigerate for an hour or two, until firm and set.
- Preheat oven to 200C, cover a baking tray with baking paper and spray lightly with coconut oil spray.
- Place burger patties on tray, spray the patty lightly with oil and cook for 20 minutes or until fragrant and cooked through.